Updated: Sep 21, 2021
Moroccan harcha is a flat, tender, delicate biscuit like no-knead bread. The appearance resembles something of a pupusa, but instead of masa these harcha are made with cornmeal and semolina.
Fair warning, this batter is very wet and if you choose to stuff them, you must work very gently. Alternately, in place of stuffing, you could fold cooked meat or cheese into the batter before cooking ,given that your filling isn't too wet. However this will change the texture slightly.
These are usually cooked start to finish in a non-stick or cast iron pan. However, I recommend finishing them off in a 350 F degree oven after being flipped and the bottoms have set.
Even though these are delicate, their versatility makes up for it. You can make them savory by stuffing with ground venison (like my picadillo) or smothering them with sausage gravy. You can also fold goat cheese and cinnamon into the batter and serve topped with warm honey.
Cooks notes: This is a very wet dough and can be a little frustrating to stuff. As mentioned above, feel free to mixing the meat or cheese directly into the dough (given that its not too wet) before cooking. The texture will be different, but they are still delicious. So if you opt to not stuff, skip step #9 in the cooking directions.
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon double acting baking powder
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
1 1/3 cups semolina flour (plus extra for cooking and handeling)
1 cup clarified butter
1 cup buttermilk
(1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; if making sweet dish)
If you're going to stuff the harcha below are optional ingredients:
1/2 cup of your favorite cooked ground venison mixture or cooked venison sausage for a savory dish
1/2 cup of crumbled goats cheese
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degree F.
In a small bowl mix the fine sea salt, sugar and (cinnamon if using).
In a large bowl, mix the corn meal and semolina together thoroughly. Add in the softened butter and mix with your hands until the texture is like wet sand.
Add the salt, sugar and baking powder to the large bowl mixture and fold in with your hands until fully incorporated.
Using about a 1/4 cup at a time, add in the milk, mixing thoroughly in between each pour. This dough will be very wet. (If you're wanting to fold in your cheese or meat in place of stuffing, do so now).
Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.
On a food safe working surface, spread out a thin layer of semolina to about a 12 inch by 12 inch size. Scoop out the dough from the bowl, sprinkle a little semolina on top of the dough and flatten the dough to a uniform 1 inch thick piece (as you would for making biscuits).
Using about a 2" biscuit cutter, cut each harcha out and and carefully set to the side using a thin spatula. Ensure that each harcha is resting on a little semolina to prevent sticking.
If stuffing, place a heaping teaspoon of the filling of your choice in the center of half of the harcha. One at a time gently lay the remaining un-topped harcha on top of the ones with the filling. Seal off the edges using your fingers (they don't have to be pretty).
Heat a large non-stick or cast iron pan over low heat. Dust the surface of the pan with semolina. Without over crowding, gently place a few harcha into the pan. Cook for about 6-8 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown. Turn them over and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the bottom is set. Transfer them to a baking sheet. Repeat the above steps for the remaining harcha, wiping out the pan and dusting with fresh semolina.
Place the baking pan in the oven and cook for 6 minutes. Serve warm.